Two Louisville cops have been shot and one suspect is in custody amid violent clashes between police and protesters sparked by a Kentucky grand jury’s decision to charge only one officer involved in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor.
Interim Police Chief Robert Schroeder said the shooting took place at Brook Street and Broadway about 8.30pm Wednesday. Both of the officers, who have not identified, were rushed to University of Louisville Hospital. One of the officers is in stable condition, and the other is undergoing surgery, also in a stable condition.
‘I am very concerned for the safety of our officers,’ he told a press conference just after 10pm. ‘Obviously we’ve had two officers shot tonight. That is very serious and a dangerous condition. I think the safety of our officers and the community we serve are of utmost importance.’
President Donald Trump took to Twitter soon after and said he is praying for the officers injured. ‘The Federal Government stands behind you and is ready to help,’ he tweeted. ‘Spoke to [Governor Andy Beshear] and we are prepared to work together, immediately upon request!’
Louisville was thrown into turmoil after a grand jury decided not to charge the officers. Instead, it handed down its decision to indict just one of the officers involved in Taylor’s killing, Brett Hankison, on charges of wanton endangerment for shooting into the homes of the 26-year-old EMT’s neighbors when they executed a warrant on March 13.
Hundreds of demonstrators chanted Taylor’s name and marched in cities like New York, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Las Vegas. People gathered in downtown Chicago’s Millennium Park, chanting demands for justice as passing drivers on Michigan Avenue honked their horns. Authorities unleashed chemical agents on some protesters after they tried to climb on a SWAT vehicle in Atlanta and others were arrested.
Hundreds of protesters began marching through the streets immediately after the announcement. Tensions quickly boiled over as protesters confronted lines of police officers who fired pepper balls and used wooden batons to drive them back.
The situation escalated after sunset as protesters set fire to piles of trash and Gov Beshear deployed 500 National Guard members to help enforce a city-wide 9pm curfew.